Day 26 of 59 Days: "Viewing From All Seven Directions""
Day 26: “Viewing From All Seven Directions”
May 16, 2019
Original Painting: “Viewing From All Seven Directions,” Acrylic on Canvas, 24×30, 4/11/2017
This painting, “Viewing From All Seven Directions,” holds space for my orchids. It is their backdrop on the mantel, where they have bloomed, consistently, for four consecutive years. Because of the orchids’ success, I don’t want to change a thing. I took the painting down this morning, to take a closer look. I promised them I would return it quickly.
What are all seven directions? As I read the title on the back, I asked myself that. I hadn’t remembered the title, much less how long ago I painted this. The seven directions that came quickly to my mind: North, South, East, West, Above, Below and Within. As I thought about directions, the following clichés or descriptive phrases came flooding into my head:
Bird’s eye view
Taking it to heart
As above so below
As within so without
Stand in my shoes (or walk that mile for that matter)
The grass is always greener on the other side
What others come to mind for you? All are opportunities to see from a different place, view or perspective. Even changing the orientation of this painting gives a different view. That’s one of the things I love about abstract art…there isn’t just one way to see it. I may have painted it in one orientation, but when it’s complete, I turn it to see what I can see from other directions. I do this with all my art. I don’t want to miss a hidden message. After all, this is part of my spiritual practice, painting.
So here I sit with this painting and I am reminded of a feeling that I had when I started to paint. I was afraid to use black paint! I didn’t want my darkness to come out. I even feel the twinge as I type this. We all have shadow and dark; it is just a question of how much and do we acknowledge and learn from it. Simply put, we could not define day without night, white without black, summer without winter, etc. It just the question of how much? Too much black on the canvas and you have grey or mud! In this painting, the black creates texture, depth and movement. It even creates faces, pareidolia.
When I am dealing with a decision, a choice or even a conversation with someone else how many directions do I explore? Truth, probably not all seven…maybe two?? My perspective is just that, mine. It is from the place I stand from my experiences and knowledge. What would it be like to sit with other possibilities? I wonder. How would it be to say to another, “isn’t that interesting,” or “I’ve never thought about it that way,” or even, “hmmm.” These types of responses give the opportunity to see things differently. They offer the opportunity for empathy, understanding, compassion and more dialogue. If I am stuck with just one view, my perspective, I am limited. I lose the opportunity to learn, share and grow. My fear of black paint has taught me a little. And yes, it was learning, and I did paint over a few canvases. Conversations and perspectives are learning. There are many paths, many rooms, and many perspectives. If you need to convince another to see it your way, who are you really convincing?
Blessings and peace on your journey.
Beth is a seasoned and experienced bodywork, somatic coach and wellness professional. She is available to present on wellness, bodywork and somatic topics; or individual bodywork and coaching sessions. Bring Beth to your area for workshops, speaking events or team building projects. Personal and business coaching are also services that Beth provides. Consider coaching for individual or small groups/teams. Contact Beth for more information and rates.